Bulgarian Ataka leader Siderov pleads guilty in three court cases

Volen Siderov, leader of the Ataka party in the Bulgarian Parliament, has pleaded guilty to the charges in three court cases against him, Sofia City Court said on March 10 2016.

The court will hold hearings in each case on March 14 to rule on whether to uphold plea bargains by Siderov and fellow Ataka MP Dessislav Chukolov.

Two other cases involving criminal charges against Siderov remain pending.

The three cases in which Siderov has pleaded guilty are one in which, in May 2011, he and other Ataka members disrupted a solemn commemoration of the Batak massacre; another in which, in 2013, he assaulted an employee of the Skat television station and a police officer outside the National Assembly; and the incident at the National Film and Theatre Academy in Sofia on October 23 2015, in which Siderov and Chukolov entered the building, insulting those inside and assaulting a student.

According to Sofia City Court, the proposal is that Siderov be punished with probation with mandatory registration of his current whereabouts, regular meetings with a probation officer and correctional labour, though this will take the form of deductions from his monthly salary.

A plea bargain also has been made in the case of Chukolov, regarding the National Film and Theatre Academy incident. Chukolov will be given probation.

A trial of Siderov has been proceeding for some time in connection with a January 2014 incident at Varna Airport, in connection with which Siderov is charged with assault and hooliganism.

Siderov also faces charges in connection with an October 2015 incident at a late-night liquor store.



The Sofia Globe staff

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